Thumbnail Image

Curriculum enactment, challenges and enablers for change and transformation in early childhood education

This research study examines the ECE curriculum in the changing and evolving landscape of early childhood care and education in a diverse and globalized society and world that is becoming increasingly connected via advances in communicative technology. The study aimed to explore the relationship between the enacted curriculum and the intended curriculum as guided by the national curriculum framework in diverse early childhood education settings in Singapore. With broad objectives framing the study, an exploratory sequential QUAL-quan mixed methods research design was adopted. The first phase involved visual ethnography and netnography, as well as interviews with twenty-two teacher participants. In-depth interviews with five of these twenty-two participants provided a greater depth of understanding of the perspectives and experiences of the early childhood educators. These interview findings, together with participant-generated data were collated in the qualitative phase. A survey instrument was designed drawing on the data derived from the first phase of the study, as well as relevant research literature. Mixed methods research was considered as it is able to integrate qualitative and quantitative data collection techniques; giving voice to participants and allows a greater comprehensiveness by addressing the research questions through complementary approaches. The qualitative phase enabled a more detailed investigation on curriculum enactment and the challenges faced by teachers in ECE settings while the quantitative allowed a more objective description of various aspects of curriculum delivery and challenges faced. The study also identifies some of the enabling conditions that have allowed transformation and positive change within the context of early childhood services in Singapore. The thesis also argues for the development of a sustainable and future oriented approach to the curriculum through the blending of approaches that include the adoption of not only the national curriculum guidelines, but also more international modern approaches that challenge localized practices and traditions. It also contends that a pedagogical third space in the curriculum allows for a more inclusive approach that is both culturally and practically relevant. The implications of this study are tied to teacher preparation, professional development, in-service learning and future-oriented curriculum development and research directions.
Type of thesis
Ong, P. A. L. (2021). Curriculum enactment, challenges and enablers for change and transformation in early childhood education (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/14342
The University of Waikato
All items in Research Commons are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.